Women’s Tour cycling race now planned to head for Suffolk in summer 2021

The Women's Tour has frequently been held in Suffolk Picture: NICK BUTCHER

The Women's Tour has frequently been held in Suffolk Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

Organisers of the UCI Women’s Tour cycling race have said the event will next be held in June next year after the Covid-19 outbreak forced plans for the 2020 event to be scrapped.

Crowds frequently line the streets for the race Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Crowds frequently line the streets for the race Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

The seventh edition of the tour, which regularly sees thousands of spectators line Suffolk’s streets when stages are held in the county, was due to start next month.

But the coronavirus pandemic forced organisers to announce the event would be postponed in March.

Though plans were put forward to potentially hold the race later in the year, those proposals have now been scrapped.

The schedule planned for this year’s event will not be changed, meaning the sixth and final leg of the 2021 race will still begin in Haverhill and finish at one of the county’s iconic landmarks in the Port of Felixstowe.

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Suffolk has frequently played host to stages of the event since it was first held in 2014, including hosting the opening leg in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

More than 250,000 people have watched the race from Suffolk’s roadside over the last six years, bringing in an estimated boost of £3.5million to the county’s economy.

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Hugh Roberts from SweetSpot Group, organisers of the Women’s Tour, said: “We have decided to work towards June 2021 for the next edition of the Women’s Tour and will not seek to re-arrange the race later in 2020.

“We recognise the unprecedented nature of the current global situation and the challenges for the UCI calendar and so wanted to take an early decision not to look for an alternative 2020 date.

“With the extra time now available we look forward to making next year’s Women’s Tour even bigger and better than before and a fantastic celebration of cycling and Britain.

James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public health, said the “right decision” had been made following the announcement.

He added: “I know there’s been plenty of discussion and planning with all Suffolk event partners following the organiser’s recent message about postponing the event in 2020 and looking for an alternative date this year. “I think the organisers have made the right decision as we all continue to concentrate on getting through the changing times we face at present and staying safe.”

MORE: Women’s Tour cycling race to return to Suffolk this summer

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